Saturday, January 12, 2008

Snow stalls violence in Baghdad

By Libby

This was my favorite story of the week. Even for the winter weary residents of frozen climes, a fresh snowfall generally evokes a spirit of shared goodwill. People who would never make eye contact on a sunny August day downtown, will converse with smiling strangers, extolling their love of the cold white stuff.

For myself, the beauty of the first snow never got old so I can imagine how miraculous your first snowfall ever would feel. The look of pure delight on the Dad's face and the puzzled consternation of the tot on his shoulder in the photo at the link says it all. In a place that has never seen snow, it's unsurprising that it would feel like a religious experience.
"This is so unusual, and I don't know whether or not it's a lesson from God," Karim said.
Some may call it act of God, I prefer to think it as a sign from the universe, a cosmic tarot card of sorts, but it seems to me to be a harbinger of hope.
For a couple of hours anyway, a city where mortar shells routinely zoom across to the Green Zone became united as one big White Zone. As of late afternoon, there were no reports of violence.
I'm not embarrassed to admit I believe in miracles. I believe in oracles and I put a lot of stock into omens. For the first time, maybe ever, Baghdad united in peace across all cultural divides and stopped to collectively witness a miracle of nature. Those few shared moments of pure wonder may well do more towards reconciling their differences than all the political finagling ever could. At least I'd like to believe it could.

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